Pilates is your workout for when you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and well into your golden years. Here is why Pilates will always be the perfect workout for you, no matter what stage of life you’re in.
Pilates in Your 20’s
When you’re young, you lead a busy lifestyle including 40+ hour workweeks, going out on the weekends, and traveling. You need a workout that is efficient, and conditions your entire body. Here are some benefits to doing Pilates in your 20s:
1. Pilates is your strength training, stretch, and cardio
Pilates uses springs with your own body weight for strength training. When you strengthen your body through Pilates not only are you more toned and conditioned throughout your entire body, but Pilates specifically strengthens your POWERHOUSE1 muscles (your abdominals, back, gluteals, and pelvis floor). There is stretch built into the workout. Having a regular stretch program built into your life when you’re young will help alleviate pain, is injury preventative, and will give your muscles more pliable and mobility.
2. Pilates increases your mind-body connection
Pilates also enhances overall body awareness through repetition of movement and reinforcing the importance of cultivating a strong mind body connection. The body awareness you learn as a young adult through Pilates2 will stay with you as you age and experience more physical changes like pregnancy, injury, and health-related changes. You also have time to set your physical activity a habit before you have kids, have a bigger job and begin to have less time for yourself. Prioritizing our workout in your 20s will help you keep it a priority for the rest of your life.
3. Pilates can be done in 30 minutes or less
Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates. He believed working out should be efficient, timely, and that every exercise can strengthen your entire body. Exercises should also be done with fewer but better quality repetitions. No one needs to speed hours at the gym strengthening one muscle group at a time. Your 20’s are one of the busiest seasons of your life and Pilates can easily fit into any sliver of time you might have. The Pilates advanced mat is designed to be completed in just 25-30 min and can be done in the studio, at home, or on the road.
Pilates in Your 30s-40s
In your 30s you may start experiencing more physical changes like pregnancy and other hormonal changes. You may have an even more sedentary job, less energy, and even less time for yourself. Her are some benefits to doing Pilates in your 30s and 40s:
1. Pilates is safe for both pre and post-natal women
Pregnant or postpartum women are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Pilates is completely safe for pregnant women3 because it’s low impact, adaptable to your changing body, and most importantly is taught in a one-on-one or small group setting. Muscular strengthening with springs is also a way to maintain your strength and stability though your pelvis as the Relaxin levels (the hormone that loosens and relaxes your muscles, joints, and ligaments during pregnancy) begin to peak at the end of the first trimester. Doing Pilates postnatal benefits include abdominal restoration and strengthening your pelvic floor. In some cases of pregnancy diastasis recti ( a separation of the abdominal muscles) may occur. When the separation is small, pre-pilates abdominal exercises can help bring the muscles back together and restore core stability over time.
2. Pilates can increase your energy levels
When your energy levels decrease due to life’s stresses like work or having children, you need a workout that energizes you. We know that exercise can increase your energy by improving your cardiovascular health and overall strength but let’s be honest some workouts leave you feeling depleted and even more fatigued. The Pilates system of exercises is thoughtfully designed to condition the entire body in every session so that your muscles are more evenly toned and balanced leaving you feeling strong and refreshed instead of fatigued. Pilates can be adapted to how you feel that day. You’ll always be encouraged to work at your level and pace so that you leave each session feeling successful, not defeated.
3. Pilates is injury preventative
Now that you’re a bit older you might be feeling more aches, pains, and unfortunately more injuries. Pilates is injury preventative4, even just once a week. Pilates focuses on strengthening all parts of the body making it an effective way to cross-train and reduce the risk of injury. If you’re coming back from being injured, once cleared by your doctor Pilates can be adapted and modified to work around your injury or can begin strengthening the muscles that are weak for rehabilitation.
Pilates in Your 50s and 60s and Beyond!
Doing Pilates in your 50s and 60s is key to rebuilding and maintaining muscle mass, living pain-free, and staying active. Here are some benefits to doing Pilates in your 50s, 60s, and beyond!-
1. Pilates increases bone density
In your 50s your bone density begins to lessen especially during menopause. You increase bone density by doing weight-bearing exercises and resistance training. Pilates offers an array of weight-bearing exercises on all Pilates apparatus that will increase bone density5 while still being safe. Pilates is also safe for people with osteoporosis and the exercises can be modified to be done with a neutral spine.
2. Pilates can improve your balance
As you age your balance begins to decline and because of bone density loss if you fall it could result in a greater injury than when you were younger. Pilates improves your balance6 by strengthening the imbalances in your body. You may have one side of your body stronger than the other, or overdeveloped muscles compensating for weaker ones. Pilates can work the side of your body in a 2:1 ratio challenging the weaker side, and also strengthening the smaller muscle groups that add more support for the larger muscle groups. You also work out lying down, sitting, and in standing positions that all improve balance and postural awareness while standing. Pilates can truly fit any age, and any lifestyle you are. It can accommodate you day-to-day and decade-to-decade. It can accommodate whether you’re a Pilates novice or a Pilates superstar. The best way to take Pilates with you through all our walks of life is to start your Pilates practice and let all the benefits begin!
- Gallagher, S. (2003). Pilates and the “powerhouse”—I. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/S1360-8592(03)00057-3 ↩︎
- Zirek, E., Analay Akbaba, Y., Emir, G.İ., Aslantürk, A., & Koyuncu, M. (2021). The effect of Pilates on body awareness, activity level, aerobic capacity, and balance in healthy young adults. Adıyaman Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Dergisi, 7(2), 129-135. doi:10.30569/adiyamansaglik.934499. ↩︎
- ScienceDaily. (2017, September 4). Exercising during pregnancy is good for mother, baby, research confirms. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170904093621.htm ↩︎
- Wood, S. (n.d.). Pilates for Rehabilitation. Human Kinetics. ↩︎
- Angın, E., Erden, Z., & Can, F. (2015). The effects of clinical pilates exercises on bone mineral density, physical performance and quality of life of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 28(4), 849–858. https://doi.org/10.3233/BMR-150604 ↩︎
- Engers, P. B., Rombaldi, A. J., Portella, E. G., & da Silva, M. C. (2016). The effects of the Pilates method in the elderly: a systematic review. Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia (English Edition), 56(4), 352-365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbre.2016.05.005 ↩︎
Lauren Bruker has been a leader in the fitness scene for over a decade teaching in New York, Los Angeles, and Austin. During her career as an indoor cycling instructor, she experienced a lower back injury that helped introduce her to Pilates. She became instantly hooked. Lauren loved the one-on-one attention, the small group classes, and how Pilates helped alleviate fatigue and imbalance her body had been experiencing for years. Lauren’s teaching mission as a certified Pilates instructor at our Louisville studio is to empower people to have a deeper understanding of themselves through practicing Pilates.